December 31, 1837, West Chester, Pennsylvania.

April 10, 1899, Chester, Pennsylvania.

Rural Cemetery, Chester, Pennsylvania.


Sweney’s musical gift showed itself at an early age. While still a boy, he began to teach music in the public schools and lead Sunday school performances. At age 19, he started studying music in earnest under Professor Bauer, a celebrated German teacher. He took violin and piano lessons, and about this time became a choir leader. He was also in constant demand for children’s concerts and for conducting glee clubs.

At age 22, Sweney was called to teach in Dover, Delaware. When the American civil war broke out, he took charge of the band of the Third Delaware Regiment. After the war, Sweney became Professor of Music at the Pennsylvania Military Academy in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He worked there over 25 years, and received the degrees of Bachelor of Music (1876) and Doctor of Music (1886).

Sweney composed music for more than 1,000 Gospel songs, and collaborated on many collections. His works include:

  1. Sing On
  1. Adopted
  2. All Glory Be Thine
  3. All Is Ready
  4. Almost
  5. Arch Street
  6. As the Bird Flies Home
  7. At the Breaking of the Day
  8. Attainment
  9. Awake! Awake!
  10. Awake, Awake! O Heart of Mine!
  11. Awake, O Zion’s Daughter
  12. Balm in Secret Prayer
  13. Banff
  14. Bells Are Calling, The
  15. Berkeley
  16. Bermuda
  17. Beulah Land
  18. Blest, Blest Forever
  19. Blood Is All My Plea, The
  20. Bratislava
  21. Break Forth, O Joyful Heart
  22. By and By
  23. By the Grace of God We’ll Meet
  24. Calvary
  25. Close Thy Heart No More
  26. Come Boldly to the Throne of Grace
  27. Come in, O Blessèd One
  28. Coming to Jesus
  29. Conquering Now and Still to Conquer
  30. Côte d’Ivoire
  31. Cova da Iria
  32. Cugnaux
  33. Dalton
  34. Dragicevic
  35. Endure to the End
  36. Everlasting Song, The
  37. Fairer Than the Morning
  38. Falter Not
  39. From the Cross to the Crown
  40. Gather the Reapers Home
  41. Glamorganshire
  42. Glory
  43. Go Work in the Vineyard
  44. God’s Holy Church Shall Triumph
  45. Going Home Rejoicing
  46. Golden Key
  47. Good News
  48. Great Judgment Day, The
  49. Guatemala
  50. Hamsher High
  51. Handful of Leaves, A
  52. Happy Tidings
  53. Have Compassion, Lord, on Me!
  54. He Feedeth His Flock
  55. He Has Come
  56. He Saves Me
  57. He Saves Me Through and Through
  58. He Set the Joy-Bells Ringing
  59. He Will Gather the Wheat
  60. He’ll Do Better for You
  61. Hillsdale
  62. Hilton Head
  63. His Child Forevermore
  64. His Love Passeth Knowledge
  65. Hokkaido
  66. Holy, Holy, Is What the Angels Sing
  67. Hour of Prayer, The
  68. How Oft We Are There
  69. I Have a Friend
  70. I Have Entered Beulah Land
  71. I Live but in Thee
  72. I Shall Have Wings
  73. I Will Shout His Praise in Glory
  74. In the Morning
  75. Is It Nothing to You?
  76. It Is Good to Be Here
  77. Jesus Is Passing By
  78. Jesus, Keep Me Near Thee
  79. Jesus Leads
  80. Jesus Promised Me a Home
  81. Jesus Will Welcome Me There
  82. Joyfully Sing
  83. King’s Highway, The
  84. Knock of the Nail-Piercèd Hand, The
  85. Lake Tahoe
  86. Launch Out
  87. Lost Are Coming Home, The
  88. Lost but Found
  89. Medan
  90. Midnight Cry, The
  91. More About Jesus
  92. Morning Draweth Nigh, The
  93. Music of the Angels
  94. My Rest
  95. My Savior First of All
  96. My Soul Shouts Glory
  97. Nagoya
  98. New Song, The
  99. No Cross for Me?
  100. No Voice but Thine
  101. Not Now, but By and By
  102. Notre Dame
  103. O Blessèd Word
  104. O Church of God, Arise!
  105. O Fly to Him
  106. O Sinner, Come Home
  107. On Let Us Go
  108. On the Hallelujah Line
  109. On the Victory Side
  110. Only a Beam of Sunshine
  111. Only Once You Pass This Way
  112. Onward and Upward
  113. Onward, Ye Pilgrims
  114. Out in the Sunshine
  115. Out on the Desert
  116. Palm Springs
  117. Peace to My Soul
  118. Petersburg
  119. Phares
  120. Phinehas
  121. Praise and Magnify Our King
  122. Praise, Praise His Name
  123. Precious Moments
  124. Press On, Press On, Ye Workers
  125. Rainbow Round the Throne, The
  126. Redeemed, and with the Price of Blood
  127. Rest By and By
  128. Rock in the Desert
  129. Room for the World
  130. Safe in the Glory Land
  131. Schindler
  132. Seek Ye First
  133. Send Out the Sunlight
  134. Shanghai
  135. Shepherd’s Fold on High, The
  136. Shining for Jesus
  137. Shout in the Camp, A
  138. Show Me the Rock
  139. Simple, Earnest Prayer, The
  140. Since I Found My Savior
  141. Sing Once More of Jesus
  142. Singing of Jesus
  143. Smile from Jesus, A
  144. Some Heart Has Gone This Way Before
  145. Speak for Jesus
  146. Sunshine in the Soul
  147. Standing on the Battlements
  148. Step into the Fountain
  149. Sweet Assurance
  150. Sweet Story of Jesus
  151. Sweeter as the Days Go By
  152. Take Courage
  153. Take the World, but Give Me Jesus
  154. Tasmania
  155. Tell It Out with Gladness
  156. Tell Me the Story of Jesus
  157. Tell the Blessèd Story
  158. Tell the Whole Wide World
  159. There Is No One Like the Savior
  160. There’s a Blessing at the Cross for Me
  161. There’s a Hand Held Out
  162. There’s a Message from the Lord
  163. Thou Wilt Remember Me
  164. Thy Hope for Eternity
  165. Till the Boat Comes By
  166. ’Tis Summer in My Heart
  167. Trusting in Jesus
  168. Uganda
  169. Unsearchable Riches
  170. Vadodara
  171. Wait on the Lord
  172. Waiting for Me
  173. Waiting for the Promise
  174. Walking in the Good Old Way
  175. Walking with Jesus My Lord
  176. Washed White as Snow
  177. We All Can Do Good
  178. We Are Nearing
  179. What More Can He Do?
  180. When Each Others Face We See
  181. When Our Ships Come Sailing Home
  182. While the Years Are Rolling On
  183. Will There Be Any Stars?
  184. Will You Come?